A schedule for Guatemala

Setting a schedule for Guatemala

Learn how time in Guatemala operates a little different than what you may be use to!

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1000 Word Wednesdays – April 23th 2014

These kids are eager to the join the ranks of great metal drummers.

These kids are eager to the join the ranks of great metal drummers. Johnny Metal Drummer always has one loyal fan! Give that girl a guitar and let her shred.

When we were working at the store in Puerto Barrios, we would receive cargo containers with random products on them. Our job was to sort through these goods and inventory them. It provided some excitement because we were never certain of what we would find.

The first container we had inventoried in our POS system arrived in February 2013. When digging through one of the pallets, I found this wonderful gem!

Now it looks like your average, run-of-the-mill children’s drum set but it is much more than that. Inside this package holds the power to join the ranks of metal drummers across the world. Drummers from bands like Children of Bodom (Lake Bodom), Blind Guardian (A voice in the dark), or Metallica (Master of Puppets).

My friend is a big metal head, so I showed him the drum kid and we had a good laugh about it. I am secretly hoping there is a kid somewhere in Guatemala playing the little drum set while head banging to some metal.

I’ll be keeping my eyes (and ears) peeled over the following years for up and rising Guatemalan metal bands, all thanks to this “Metal Drum Set” (:

Valentine’s Day Bay

You might be looking at the beautiful beach pictured on my homepage and thinking “Well that place looks, awesome! Where is it and how do I get there?” Well let me tell you!

Our journey starts in Puerto Barrios on Valentine’s Day 2013. As you travel north through the town, you eventually run into the shore line. It’s riddled with boats and people selling fresh seafood (which I highly recommend buying since they most likely caught it a few hours earlier). You could try to drive to Sand Bay, but it is going to take you about an hour. This method takes about 10-15 minutes.

There is a little restaurant/bar and dock by the north end of the shoreline. It’s about 5 blocks west of the municipal dock and very easy to find. It will be the only building with large wooden doors! However, don’t try to get a boat ride on a Monday. The boating services are closed on Mondays, but you can still enjoy a drink at the bar. 🙂

Come here if you would like to go to Livingston or Belize.

Come here if you would like to go to Livingston or Belize.

The people at the restaurant/bar like to have a full boat-load of people before voyaging across the bay, so cost usually runs anywhere from Q20 ($2.50) to Q40 ($5) round trip, depending on how many people you have. Once everything is in order, you are loaded onto a banana boat like this:

Everybody jump in for your seaward adventure!

Everybody jump in for your seaward adventure!

The water in the bay can be a little choppy, so be mindful if you are prone to seasickness. Otherwise, just enjoy the view!

Hello fellow boating party! You are going the wrong way!

Hello fellow boating party! You are going the wrong way!

After about 10 minutes, you can see the shoreline and the dock.

After about 10 minutes, you can see the shoreline and the dock.

Please keep your hands inside the vessel until we have come to a complete stop. Or you can jump out, we don't mind. Just know how to swim

Please keep your hands inside the vessel until we have come to a complete stop. Or you can jump out, we don’t mind. Just know how to swim

You have now arrived at Sand Bay! There are drinks, food, outdoor showers to rinse your feet, beach chairs, and lots of beautiful scenery. If you are a fan of scotch, Johnny Walker Black is about 3 per glass (on the rocks or up). We decided drinking scotch and enjoying the beach was the best way to spend our Valentine’s Day 🙂

Where the %$@!? is our house?

Gallery

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Before moving to Guatemala, my relatives invited friends and family to throw me a big going away party. My family just loves a reason to celebrate (they would fit in perfectly in this culture) and everyone was excited for the next journey … Continue reading

Hoy! 2×1 Telepizza Traditions

Today (hoy) is Friday! People are making plans for the weekend, getting excited about not working (unless you work in a restaurant, in which case friday and saturday are your main work days and I know your struggle), and taking some time from their busy work schedule to read a blog or two. 😉

Here in Guatemala, Friday is 2 for 1 pizza day at Pollo Campero (we call it the “Chicken” for short and “Telepizza” is what they call their pizza) and this taught us a fun lesson about traditions of the Guatemalan people. Let me explain:

Back in the summer of 2013 when we were living Puerto Barrios with the family, we wanted make it a tradition to have a pizza party every Friday. Pizza and soda for the kids (all 3 of them) with a side of gin and tonics for the adults! (It was a celebration after all)

After a long work week, friday rolls around and we ordered the pizza. Now maybe your asking why this work week was longer than normal? My friend and I had just recovered from being sick with a stomach bug, but the family took our place in the sickness cycle. Since we were feeling better, we wanted to treat the family and start the tradition.

We explained to the mother what we wanted to order as our Spanish wasn’t that great yet and had it delivered. Two grande pizzas arrived with some treats and soda, and we dug in. By we, I mean my friend and I. The family didn’t even touch the food.

Now I am concerned at this point. “Do I do something wrong? Why aren’t they eating?” I pondered. I ate a little more and thought, “Oh no, what if they are still sick and don’t have an appetite? This is horrible! We are just gorging and they are miserable!”

So I stopped eating for a moment and motioned for them to start eating. They said “Gracias” and continued to wait. I asked “¿Están enfermo?” and they said “Yes”. At this point I was apologizing a bunch and they just look confused. I sat down to finish my meal.

Soon after finishing, I grabbed a piece of dessert pizza and sat down. My friend grabbed a second helping. Then the most amazing thing happened.

Like a herd of wild buffalo, the family demolished the rest of the food. I literally blinked and the rest of the food was gone – soda, dessert, pizza – the whole works. I started to figure out what had happened.

The family wasn’t too sick to eat (they were starving in fact); they were waiting for us to finish eating before they ate. Since we had paid for the meal, they were showing their generosity and respect.

I felt much better after seeing them eat and I learned something about their culture. Traditions like this happen all around the world and until we see it first hand, we never truly understand the differences that make us all so unique.